Five states are continuing the legal battle against the Asian carp. After the Supreme Court twice rejected requests for a preliminary injunction to close two Chicago locks, the Great Lakes states are pursuing action in federal district court.
The lawsuit was filed this week by Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
“President Obama and the Army Corps of Engineers have failed to fight Asian carp aggressively,” said Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox. “Asian carp will kill jobs and ruin our way of life. We cannot afford more bureaucratic delays — emergency action must be taken to protect the Great Lakes.”
The suit alleges that allowing the Asian carp to threaten the Great Lakes and their fisheries constitutes a public nuisance. It requests a court order to improve efforts to stop the invasive species, including temporary closure of Chicago-area locks and placing screens over gate openings.
The legal action comes a month after the alarming June 22 catch of a 19-pound bighead carp just six miles downstream from Lake Michigan, beyond the electric barrier meant to prevent fish from entering the Great Lakes.
When the states had previously filed their requests to the Supreme Court, they only had carp DNA samples as evidence of their presence beyond the barrier. The carp catch might help the Great Lakes states in court, according to Nick Schroeck, executive director of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center at Wayne State University.
“It’s easier to make the case that there’s a public nuisance when you have this actual, live fish,” he said.
What efforts do you think should be taken to stop the Asian carp? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.
Pa., four other states sue to keep Asian carp out of Great Lakes [The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette] Great Lakes States Sue to Keep Monster Fish at Bay [AOL News] Five states file new lawsuit against federal government to protect Great Lakes from Asian carp [Great Lakes Law] 5 states file suit over Asian carp [The Detroit News]